Writing Center News

Registration now open for Teaching Writing Now, a virtual diversity symposium

The Texas A&M Department of English, University Writing Center, and Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research invite you to join us for our virtual spring symposium series, Teaching Writing Now: Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in the Writing Classroom.

This virtual series, taking place from January 27 – March 3, will engage the topic of how we can better teaching writing now by addressing diversity, inclusion, and social justice in the writing classroom. Events are aimed at “bringing together scholars doing research in social justice pedagogies, cultural rhetorics, and composition/professional writing in our rapidly changing media landscape.”

The first keynote address, Not Grading Writing as Teaching Writing Now: Considerations of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in the Writing Classroom will be presented by Asao B. Inoue (Arizona State University) on February 4th from 1:00-2:30 pm.

The second keynote address, Teaching Writing After George Floyd, will be an interview conducted with Vershawn (Dr. Vay) Young (University of Waterloo) by Dr. Valerie Balester and Florence Davies (Texas A&M) on March 1st from 2:30 - 4:00 pm.

Registration for the full symposium is now available, and all events are free and open to the public.
For the full symposium schedule with individualized event sign-ups, visit http://bit.ly/TeachingWritingNow.

Submit your video for feedback!

Aggies can now submit video projects to the UWC for feedback. 

To submit a video, you'll need to select the Online Video Submission option when you make an appointment. Then, fill out the entry survey, indicating what concerns you have about the project and any other relevant information, such as whether its for a specific class and if you were given any specific instructions. Finally, include a link to the video via YouTube or Google Drive. 

If you're making the appointment before the video itself is done, you can include a link to any short video as a placeholder. Just remember to swap that out for your video before the date and time of your appointment! 

While any kind of video projects are welcome, this option might be especially useful for students who are about to give a presentation and want feedback on their practice session but can't come to the UWC in person. Just record yourself rehearsing the presentation and tell us in the entry survey who your intended audience is. The UWC consultant who reviews your submission will offer feedback on whatever you're concerned about including pacing, delivery, and transitions.

We hope this new type of appointment will encourage more students to use our services for even more kinds of communication projects.  

So, send us your videos, Aggies! 

Nancy Vazquez to serve as new UWC Director

The Texas A&M University Writing Center is excited to announce that Nancy Vazquez will now serve as its director as of July 1st. Vazquez came to the UWC in 2002 after working several years as a writer and editor.

From writing consultant to administrator, Vazquez has taken on numerous roles that have made her a vital component of the writing center’s communications and supervisory teams. From 2004 through 2011, she served as associate editor of the UWC’s faculty newsletter Writing Matters, composing notable articles such as “Grade Less: Your Students Might Learn More” and “How Does this Sound: Why Writing Style Matters.” Vazquez has long managed all of the UWC’s media activities, including the production of promotional and educational materials such as the UWC’s vast collection of writing and speaking guides. From 2014 to 2016, she supervised production of over 140 scripts for In A Word, the writing center’s weekly radio series broadcast on KAMU-FM.

In addition to the media team,Vazquez has also been an integral part of our CRLA tutor training courses, serving as a lead instructor to our writing consultants for many years. In her “spare time,” Vazquez has led numerous workshops for undergraduate and graduates students on writing and speaking, represented us at events such as Aggie Veterans Camp and the Warrior Scholars Program, and has presented at our major writing center conferences. More recently, Vazquez was awarded the 2018 Tradition of Excellence award with her nominators citing in particular her impactful mentorship of the media team, writing consultants, and fellow administrators.

Please join us in congratulating Nancy Vazquez on her new position and this new phase of UWC leadership.

UWC Director leaves for position at Texas State University

After 13 years with the University Writing Center (UWC), Dr. Candace Hastings is leaving Texas A&M to become the Director of Faculty Development at Texas State University in San Marcos. 

In her time at the UWC, Hastings was responsible for overseeing a number of significant projects, including the creation of the center's unique scheduling software, developed in conjunction with Texas A&M University's Information Technology's Solutions and Support department. Hastings also implemented many procedures for improving the training and supervision of the consultant staff, which now includes approximately 50 undergraduate and graduate students. Hastings also mentored many graduate students in her role at the UWC, and videos of her workshops for grad students, including "Get Lit with Dr. Candace Hastings," have won wide appeal on the UWC's YouTube channel, receiving hundreds of thousands of views. However, it is the achievements of the students she taught and advised, including both UWC clients and consultants, that will certainly be her most significant legacy. 

The UWC wishes Dr. Hastings all the best at Texas State. 

Reading from the Aggie Creative Collective

Undergraduates participating in this year's Aggie Creative Collective will read from their work at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 27th. The reading will take place in the Whitley Suite on the first floor of Evans Library. 

The Aggie Creative Collective is a unique program resulting from the English Department, LAUNCH, and the University Writing Center that links scholarly research, performance, and creative works. Undergraduates accepted into the program complete a creative thesis. At the reading on June 27th, students from this year's cohort will share brief excerpts from their work in progress. 

Seating will be limited so guests are encouraged to arrive early. 

UWC offers Spotify writing playlists

The UWC is now on Spotify as "writeradio." We've put together a number of writing-friendly playlists, designed to help you coax your words on to the page. 

The idea for the playlists came from UWC administrator Nick Cenegy, who often has music playing softly in the background when he leads a writing group. Students mentioned how much they liked having the music on, which inspired him to create a number of instrumental playlists to use as background for writing sessions.

Several other administrators have now added their playlists to the UWC's Spotify account as well. For instance, there's one called "Club U Dub C" and another called "Write It Up, Turn It Loose."

So, the next time you need to get in a writing frame of mind, check out Writeradio on Spotify.

UWC debuts new rap video: "Plagiarize"

Our latest music video explores the dangers of plagiarism. The UWC's own MC Grammar Punch teams up with his buddy Big Punz to help an Aggie writer avoid the plagiarist's world of sloppy citations, lazy notetaking, and inappropriate cutting and pasting--all in a musical homage to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWzhNyUAJvo

"Can't Write This" video on USA Today's college edition

The UWC's latest rap video, "Can't Write This," made quite a splash yesterday, getting picked up by USA Today's college-focused website, college.usatoday.com. It was featured on the site's home page, as well as under their "Dare You Not To Smile" banner. The video was also released on all of the UWC's social media outlets, receiving more than 60 shares on Facebook.

A UWC consultant--a graduate student dubbed "M.C. Grammar Punch"--wrote the lyrics, to the tune of M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This," and also performed the rap. The video was shot on campus and highlights some prominent Texas A&M landmarks. Two other consultants are also featured in the video, which shows how a student, overwhelmed by a lengthy writing assignment, successfully completes his paper, thanks to help from a writing center consultant. The video was directed, filmed, and edited by UWC staffers. A slightly longer version of the video was also played for incoming Aggies at Fish Camp this past summer, as an introduction to writing center services.

You can watch the video here: http://youtu.be/5TrHskQZrjw?list=UUx4ZRP8E8UGV4poLm3HSeYQ

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